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Members of Axinn Veltrop's Litigation team.

Litigation Department Of The Year: Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider Has Patented Approach To Succeeding In Federal Court

By JAY STAPLETON |

A Johnson & Johnson subsidiary sought to stop a manufacturer of spinal implants from violating its patents related to the technology. Fast action was needed. So the company turned to a Connecticut law firm that prides itself on getting results in federal courts across the country—Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider.

Members of McCarter & English's litigation team.

Litigation Department Of The Year: McCarter & English Litigators Expand Reputation In Wide Range Of Practice Areas

By DOUGLAS S. MALAN |

When McCarter & English moved into the Connecticut marketplace about a decade ago, there was a general sense the New Jersey-based firm was strong in business litigation. Since then, the firm's leaders like to think the reputation has grown.

Health Law: HIPAA Breaches: Getting It Right

By JOAN W. FELDMAN and WILLIAM J. ROBERTS |

Anyone who has been to a doctor's office in the last 12 years, by now, knows that the federal government enacted a privacy and security law known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

25-Year Sentence Sought In Conn. Terrorism Case

By Associated Press |

Babar Ahmad's attorneys say the 10 years their client already spent in prison are enough punishment. They say the case is being closely watched in the Muslim world to see if a fair sentence will be imposed in July.

Michael Koskoff and Kathleen Nastri

Litigation Department Of The Year: Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder Knows How To Choose Its Battles Carefully

By CHRISTIAN NOLAN |

Top 10 lists are popular. Here's one that's more than a little interesting: Of the top 10 personal injury verdicts in Connecticut history, the Bridgeport firm of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder says it's represented the plaintiffs in six of them.

Jury Awards $12 Million To Danbury Hospital Patient

By Karen Ali |

A Danbury Hospital patient who went in for what was supposed to be a simple, one-day hernia repair in 2008 won $12 million after a jury verdict this afternoon. The hospital denied responsibility for the conduct of its own surgical resident, the plaintiff’s lawyer said.

East Haven Latinos Reach $450,000 Settlement With Town

By Law Tribune Staff and Wire Reports |

The town of East Haven has agreed to pay $450,000 to settle a civil rights lawsuit by Latino residents. But perhaps the more significant part of the agreement, according to lawyers involved with the case, is that the town has agreed to greatly limit its enforcement of immigration laws and communications with national immigration authorities.

New Law Shields Users Of Anti-Overdose Medication From Lawsuits

By KAREN ALI |

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has signed legislation that grants civil and criminal liability protection to a bystander who administers naloxone hydrochloride — known as Narcan — in good faith to someone who has overdosed.

Ex-Hedge Fund Execs Plead Guilty To Conspiracy

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS |

Three former hedge fund executives pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge stemming from a scheme to deceive investors in order to keep a big customer, federal prosecutors said.

Attorney J. Michael Farren, 57, of New Canaan, Conn, is on trial for trying to murder his wife.

Court Rejects Appeals By Former White House Counsel

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS |

A former White House counsel charged with trying to kill his wife in Connecticut has lost a legal fight over whether he can use a mental health defense at his trial. The state Appellate Court has rejected John Michael Farren's appeals of rulings by Stamford Superior Court Judge Richard Comerford, who told Farren on May 1 that he couldn't use a mental health defense. Farren's appeals were dismissed Wednesday.

Members of Bingham McCutchen's litigation team.

Litigation Department Of The Year: Bingham McCutchen's Small Hartford Office Has Many Big-Name Clients

By CHRISTIAN NOLAN |

Bingham McCutchen may only have eight litigators in its Connecticut office. But they insist there's no shortage of staff or resources for the cases they handle both in and out of state. After all, there are 450 total Bingham McCutchen litigators worldwide.

Nickola Cunha

Pro Bono Honors: Nickola Cunha Attends To Pro Bono Clients Like They Were Her Own Siblings

By JAY STAPLETON |

Nickola Cunha's desire to help others started when she began shouldering a big burden at a young age. Now a general practice solo in Hamden, Cunha Britain was just shy of her 21st birthday when her mother passed away, leaving her in charge of caring for her younger brother and two sisters.

Top New Haven Lawyer Nominated For Federal Judgeship

By JAY STAPLETON |

Victor Bolden, New Haven's corporation counsel, is winning praise from Connecticut lawmakers after being nominated for a federal judge's post by President Barack Obama.

Islamic School Property Focus Of Tax Controversy

By AMARIS ELLIOTT-ENGEL |

Each year, hundreds of Connecticut home and business owners challenge their property tax bills. While most cases are resolved during hearings at the municipal level, some move into the court system. But seldom do such cases spark much public interest.

Conn. Plays Key Role In Another National Mortgage Settlement

By CHRISTIAN NOLAN |

SunTrust, a mortgage lender and servicer, has agreed to pay nearly $1 billion to resolve allegations that it underwrote and endorsed faulty mortgage loans, according to government officials.

Attorney J. Michael Farren, 57, of New Canaan, Conn, is on trial for trying to murder his wife.

Appeal May Delay Ex-White House Lawyer's Attempted Murder Trial

By Associated Press |

A former White House lawyer charged with trying to kill his wife in Connecticut is appealing a judge's decision to prevent Farren from employing a mental health defense. John Michael Farren, who worked in both Bush administrations, has asked the Connecticut Appellate Court to overturn a May 1 decision by Stamford Superior Court Judge Richard Comerford.

Filing Claims Because Of A Vehicle's Diminished Value

By MATTHEW FORREST |

Are you familiar with diminished value? If you are a plaintiffs attorney or insurance defense attorney, you will hear about it soon from one of your clients.

Former Hartford Archbishop Accused Of Not Properly Supervising Priest In Mass Sex Abuse Case

By Associated Press |

FALL RIVER, Mass. - (AP) -- Two former altar boys at a Massachusetts Roman Catholic church have filed a lawsuit alleging they were sexually abused by a now deceased priest, while the former bishop of Fall River who was also an archbishop in Hartford did nothing to stop it.

Colin Tait

Honors Night 2014: Colin Tait Wrote The Book On Connecticut Evidence Law

By THOMAS B. SCHEFFEY |

From the late 1970s through 1999, the first thing that many Connecticut lawyers did at trial was to take out a slim orange book and place it on the counsel table. It was professor Colin Tait's "Handbook of Connecticut Evidence."

Female Lawyer's Lawsuit Claims Union Leader Spoke Of Bikinis, Sex Toys

By KAREN ALI |

A female labor lawyer is pursuing claims against a union’s regional director who allegedly invited the attorney to don a bikini after a negotiation, showed her explicit photos on his computer and invited her to a sex toy party.

Stamford solo Dori Hightower

Litigation Department Of The Year: Dori Hightower Seeks Less Confrontational Ways To Practice Family Law

By ROBIN DeMERELL PROVEY |

Family law isn't about winning or tearing down your opponent. It's about coming to a fair and reasonable agreement so that both parties and their families can move forward. It's about finding the best way to rebuild lives that have been ripped apart.

Health Law: The Current State Of Physician Practice Valuation

By LAURA M. PFEIFFENBERGER and MARK O. DIETRICH |

Just as in the 1990s, there is a wave of consolidation in the health-care industry today that is affecting both the perception and the reality of physician practice value. In many cases, the economics of today's transactions are similar to the '90s and that does not bode well for the future.

Judiciary Committee Co-Chair Gerald Fox III

Judiciary Committee Shakeup Coming As Fox Leaves Legislature

By Karen Ali |

The Judiciary Committee is clearly the legislative panel that has the greatest impact on Connecticut lawyers, with its duties ranging from confirming judicial nominations to holding hearings on cutting-edge legal issues ranging from criminal sentencing issues to family law reform.

More Lawyers Grieved For Fiduciary Issues, CBA Panelists Say

By JAY STAPLETON |

About 100 Connecticut lawyers underwent a "scared straight" program on ethics hosted by the Connecticut Bar Association at its annual meeting on Monday, June 16. This years' annual CBA meeting was rebranded this year as the Connecticut Legal Conference, and featured a luncheon and several networking opportunities, including a cocktail hour.

Major Firm Opens Office Near UConn's Storrs Campus

One of Connecticut's largest law firms says it is opening an office in Storrs so it can take advantage of the "presence and growth" of the University of Connecticut. Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, which has about 50 lawyers in offices in Hartford, New Haven and Middletown, will launch its new location on July 1.

Judge's Order Leads To Release Of Conn. Teen Held In Mass. Dispute

By Law Tribune Staff |

A Connecticut teenager at the center of a custody dispute based on conflicting medical diagnoses was returned to her parents on Wednesday morning. The decision came after a Massachusetts judge on Tuesday, June 17 ordered the release of Justina Pelletier, of West Hartford who had been the focal point of a 16-month, two-state dispute that revolved around whether she had a disease of the cellular system or a psychological disorder.

Garvin Ambrose

Victim Advocate Steps Down After Short Stay

By KAREN ALI |

In April, Connecticut State Victim Advocate Garvin Ambrose spoke enthusiastically about heading up a new state commission that would be the first of its type in the country.

Conn. Task Force Calls For Legal Education Reforms

By KENNETH SHLUGER |

Changes in the legal marketplace have caused law schools, law firms, bar associations and governmental regulators to reconsider all aspects of legal education. For decades, law schools utilized the Socratic Method to teach law students to "think like a lawyer." Thereafter, these newly admitted attorneys would be scooped up by law firms who would train and mold them into well-paid and productive attorneys.

Honors Night 2014

The 2014 Honor's Night brought together prominent members of the legal community to recognize the service and accomplishment of lawyers from throughout the state who perform pro bono work, lead government agencies and teach others important legal principles.

Attorney Timothy Moynahan

College Names Law Library Collection After Local Lawyer

By KAREN ALI |

Waterbury criminal defense and personal injury lawyer Timothy Moynahan, who has practiced for 50 years, has no shortage of courtroom wins under his belt. But when Post University students mention his name in the future, it will likely be in reference to a trip to the school library rather than a nearby courthouse.

Graphic of what the Torrington courtouse is expected to look like.

Plans Call For $81 Million, State-Of-The-Art Courthouse

By KAREN ALI |

The state on Tuesday announced plans to build an $81 million courthouse in Torrington, a move that will replace older Superior Court buildings in Litchfield and Bantam and consolidate court operations in the Litchfield Judicial District.

Transgender Teen Likely To Be Transferred From Prison To Treatment Center

By Associated Press |

The head of Connecticut's child welfare agency says a transgender teenager detained in an adult prison without criminal charges has been accepted for admission to a private treatment center for youths in Massachusetts.

Supreme Court Sets Rare Summer Session For Death Penalty Case

The state Supreme Court has scheduled a rare summer special session to hear the death penalty appeal of Russell Peeler Jr., who ordered the 1999 killings of a woman and her 8-year-old son in Bridgeport.

Former Associate Says Bill Gallagher Owed Her $35,000

By JAY STAPLETON |

Many bar members were troubled to learn of possible shortfalls in the client accounts of the late New Haven lawyer William Gallagher. And now it appears that there will be no easy resolution of the situation.

Justices Hear Arguments In Highway Defect Case

By Associated Press |

Nine years after being severely wounded in the horrific Avon Mountain wreck, Michael Cummings is still fighting to hold the state Department of Transportation responsible. A dump truck went out of control down the 500-foot hill on Route 44 in Avon in 2005 after its faulty brakes failed, causing a fiery, 20-vehicle accident at the bottom that killed four people and injured 19.

Lawyer Who Ran For Mayor Suspended For Six Years

By Karen Ali and Jay Stapleton |

A lawyer who ran unsuccessfully as the Democratic candidate in a four-way race for Milford mayor in 2009 was suspended for six years from the practice of law, according to a ruling by Judge Frank Iannotti.

Editorial: Governor: Do The Right Thing And Ensure Fair Hearings

Former Superior Court Judge Beverly Hodgson in her opinion piece, "State Agency Needs To Change Rules For Hearings" (Connecticut Law Tribune, May 30) had it exactly right in urging enactment of P.A. 14-209, "An Act Concerning Administrative Hearings Conducted by the Department of Social Services." The legislation is awaiting action by the governor, but there are rumors that some people are encouraging him to veto it. What a mistake that would be.

Members of Cantor Colburn's litigation team.

Litigation Department Of The Year: Cantor Colburn Brings Nonlegal Expertise In The IP Law Arena

By KAREN ALI |

Cantor Colburn is a law firm. And a haven for scientists. "I think almost 90 percent of our lawyers have a science degree. We're either bored or we like to study," joked the firm's cochairman of litigation, William Cass, who has a mechanical engineering degree from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. "We have people with all levels of expertise."

Attorney Convicted Of Witness Tampering Seeks Reinstatement

By KAREN ALI |

Robert Karanian, who practiced in New Britain, was arrested in 2007 on charges he stole $12,000 from his former client, a convicted drug dealer. A New Britain criminal defense lawyer who was convicted in October 2008 of tampering with and bribing a witness has applied to be reinstated to practice law.

Civil Litigation Reform Con: Be Cautious In Making Wholesale Changes

The Editorial Board has previously addressed the question of civil litigation reform and the need to preserve access to the court for all litigants. To have truly open courts, all litigants must have their cases heard on the merits, regardless of the size of their case or their financial ability to afford a protracted legal battle.

Robinson & Cole's Appellate Unit

Litigation Department Of The Year: Robinson & Cole's Appellate Unit Thrives With Team-First Approach

By DOUGLAS S. MALAN |

It's a trend that Robinson & Cole partner Jeffrey White has noticed over the past 10 years. Larger firms outside of the appellate hub of Washington, D.C., have been focusing on building up teams of appellate lawyers to show their depth and expertise.

Conn. Judges Return From African Conference With New Perspective

By PATTY JENKINS PITTMAN and MARY SOMMER |

Editor's note: Connecticut Superior Court Judges Patty Jenkins Pittman and Mary Sommer attended the 12th biennial conference of the International Association of Women Judges (IAWJ), in Arusha, Tanzania, in early May. This is their account of what they call the trip of a lifetime.

Conn. Supreme Court Gives New Rights To Indigent Defendants

By CHRISTIAN NOLAN |

The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that indigent criminal defendants who are representing themselves in court have a constitutional right to receive public money to pay for investigators and expert witnesses.

Mother, Hospital Settle ADA Discrimination Suit

By CHRISTIAN NOLAN |

The federal government and the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain have reached a settlement agreement over allegations that that the hospital refused to accommodate a child in its summer camp program in 2013 because the child had diabetes and required the use of an insulin pump.

State Restricts Mental Health Questions To New Lawyers

By JAY STAPLETON |

The Connecticut Bar Examining Committee has unanimously voted to change some of the questions it asks of new law license applicants regarding any mental health conditions they might have, making it less likely that law students will avoid being treated for substance abuse or depression out of fear it might ruin their careers.

Lawmakers Pass 'Landmark' Bill To Address College Sexual Assaults

By Associated Press |

Connecticut lawmakers have given final legislative approval to a wide-ranging bill that attempts to address and prevent sexual assault on college campuses, mirroring some of the newly released recommendations from a White House task force.

Corporate Law Reforms Could Mean Legal Business For Conn.

By JAY STAPLETON |

They are corporate giants, employing thousands of Connecticut residents at their headquarters and generating hundreds of millions in tax dollars each year. But much of the tax revenue paid by Connecticut's largest corporate citizens goes to a tiny coastal state south of New Jersey.

Members of Day Pitney's litigation team.

Litigation Department Of The Year: Day Pitney's Clients Include National Companies And Connecticut Icons

By JAY STAPLETON |

Day Pitney's litigation department has represented some of the best-known companies in the state. Core clients have included national and global brands, such as Priceline.com and Wells Fargo bank, not to mention some of Connecticut's most venerable institutions, such as Yale University.

Settlement Bars Placement Of Mentally Ill In Nursing Homes

By Associated Press |

Connecticut officials have agreed to stop housing many mentally ill people in nursing homes in a proposed settlement of an 8-year-old lawsuit involving more than 200 psychiatric patients.

Naugatuck solo David DeRosa

'Astronomical' Fees Assessed To Lawyer Who Testified For GAL Reform

By JAY STAPLETON |

A Connecticut lawyer who publicly voiced his concerns about high costs of guardians ad litem services was shocked by the timing of an Appellate Court decision in his own divorce case.

Jepsen Takes On High-Profile National Role Among AGs

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen has taken on a higher national profile with his election as vice president of the National Association of Attorneys General. Jepsen was elected to the position last week at a national meeting of the group in Michigan.

Opinion: Law Firms Are Slow To Adapt To New Innovations

By ADRIAN DAYTON |

What do lawyers and Pakistani factory workers have in common? More than you think. Especially when it comes to innovation. Columbia University researchers looked at how innovation spreads in a seemingly simple area—the manufacture of soccer balls.

Rowland Seeks To Limit Details Of Conviction

By The Associated Press |

Former Gov. John Rowland is seeking to prevent jurors from hearing details of his previous corruption conviction during his upcoming trial on charges that he tried to create secret consultant roles with two congressional campaigns.

'Very Familiar' Lawyer Target Of 23 Grievance Complaints

By KAREN ALI |

In considering the latest matter involving John Evans, a reviewing panel for the Statewide Grievance Committee commented that the Stamford personal injury lawyer is a “very familiar” figure to state disciplinary authorities.

Parents Press Emotional Distress Claim After Son's Suicide

By CHRISTIAN NOLAN |

Summary: Parents who saw their son hang himself are contesting a trial judge's decision to dismiss their bystander emotional distress claim filed as part of their medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital that had released their son earlier that morning.

Samuel Schoonmaker III

Litigation Department Of The Year: Sam Schoonmaker Has Left A Lasting Mark On Divorce Law In Connecticut

By JAY STAPLETON |

For more than 40 years, Greenwich divorce lawyer Samuel V. Schoonmaker III has advised television personalities and jet-set executives on how to end their marriages. He served as divorce counsel to fashion trendsetter Martha Stewart, financier Carl Icahn and former football start Frank Gifford.

Plan Is Offered To Solve Medical Custody Dispute Involving Connecticut Teen

Massachusetts officials announced a plan Monday to return a teenager in a custody dispute involving different diagnoses by two hospitals to her home state of Connecticut to be closer to her family, but her family objected to it, calling it a "slap in the face."

Robert Zaslow

Pro Bono Honors: Robert Zaslow Brings People Skills To Tough Family Court Cases

By KAREN ALI |

Robert Zaslow began doing pro bono work in Ohio more than two decades ago. While at the Claude W. Pettit College of Law at Ohio Northern University in the early 1990s, he was a certified legal intern with the Allen County Blackhoof Area Legal Services. Supervised by legal attorneys, he was allowed to actively practice as a lawyer.

Ruling Upsets Advocates for Military Sex Assault Victims

By AMARIS ELLIOTT-ENGEL |

As many as 30 percent of women serving in the military are raped or experience an attempted rape, advocates say. But relatively little detailed documentation has been made public, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut and the Service Women's Action Network, backed by a Yale Law School legal clinic, have had a long-running legal battle with the Department of Defense over access to millions of pages of military records.

Federal Judge Dismisses ADA Complaint Against State Court System

By JAY STAPLETON |

A federal lawsuit filed by a woman who claimed the state Judicial Branch violated her rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act during a contentious family court proceeding has been dismissed after a judge ruled that the woman does not meet the ADA's definition of disabled.

Law Tribune Seeks Employment, Construction, and Energy Law Articles

The Connecticut Law Tribune is seeking lawyer-written articles for several upcoming special practice section. Articles should be about 1,200 words long, contain no footnotes and be written in such a way that attorneys in any practice area can benefit from them.

How Simple Hernia Surgery Turned Into A $12 Million Med-Mal Verdict

By CHRISTIAN NOLAN |

Vivian Gagliano went into Danbury Hospital for what was supposed to be a routine hernia operation — an outpatient procedure. But the operation went wrong, and she spent 34 days in the intensive care unit, a total of 70 days in the hospital, had six more surgeries and amassed $1 million in medical bills.

Gerald Passaro and Thomas Buckholz

DOMA Decision Brings Wave Of Litigation Involving Same-Sex Partners

By JAY STAPLETON and KAREN ALI |

A Connecticut resident who previously challenged the Defense of Marriage Act has filed suit against a major U.S. company in an attempt to collect pension benefits he claims he is owed following his partner's death.

Employment Law: New State Legislation Affecting The Workplace

By MARK J. SOMMARUGA |

The following is a brief description of pertinent bills passed during the 2014 session of the General Assembly that may impact the workplace. Note that as of the date of the drafting of this article, most of these bills were awaiting action by the governor. In addition, there may be other bills that tangentially impact employment matters that are not addressed in this article due to space considerations.

Conn. Pet Food Company Sued Over Natural Ingredient Claims

By LAW TRIBUNE STAFF |

A national pet food giant is nipping at a smaller Connecticut-based competitor, alleging that the Wilton company is misleading consumers about the ingredients in its dog and cat foods.

Jewish Group Sues Town Over Synagogue Denial

By Associated Press |

A synagogue has filed a federal lawsuit alleging Greenwich violated its civil rights and made a discriminatory decision by denying its plan to build a house of worship. Greenwich Reform Synagogue this week sued the wealthy town and its Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals, accusing officials of discrimination on the basis of religion.

Attorney William Westcott

Judge Described Limitations Of Voyeurism Law In Dismissing Charges

By Karen Ali |

A Wilton man accused of videotaping encounters with women had his charges dismissed, fueling a debate about the existing law and what it means to be in "plain view."

Danbury Lawyer Joins National Plaintiffs Team Suing General Motors

By JAY STAPLETON |

A Danbury lawyer who has been active in the national class action involving the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is taking on another giant case. Agostino Ribeiro, a partner at Ventura, Ribeiro & Smith, has teamed up with Missouri lawyer Dan DeFeo and Louisiana attorney Ronnie Pention to bring legal claims against General Motors over its recalls for ignition-switch defects.

Bloggers Get Added Protection From Connecticut Courts

By CHRISTIAN NOLAN |

Blogging lawyers in the state may be relieved to know that they cannot be found liable for defamation if they link to or post online a libelous article written by someone else. That was the finding of the state Appellate Court, which ruled that NBC Universal, thorugh its cnbc.com website, was not responsible for the content of an article by Teri Buhl, a self-described "smashmouth investigative journalist."

Members of Conway Stoughton litigation team.

Litigation Department Of The Year: Conway Stoughton Uses Teamwork To Gain A Competitive Edge

By ROBIN DeMERELL PROVEY |

When former hockey teammates Matthew Conway and Paul Stoughton opened a law firm together 11 years ago, they decided to apply the same competitive edge that helped them score goals on the ice to reach goals for their legal practice.

Employment Law: Executive Compensation Issues For Tax-Exempt Employers

By RACHEL ARNEDT |

Compensation packages for executives of tax-exempt organizations can raise private inurement issues and are also subject to tax regulations governing benefits, including nonqualified deferred compensation, that do not apply to taxable employers. It's a thorny world out there. Tread carefully.

Editorial: Would You Let Your Child Become A Lawyer?

U.S. District Judge Robert Chatigny spoke at the recent memorial service for Jacob Zeldes, a Bridgeport lawyer many considered the dean of Connecticut criminal law. The judge ended on a personal note.

Editorial: Campus Sexual Assault Bill Gets Mixed Grade

The Connecticut legislature in the recently completed session passed House Bill 5029 "An Act Concerning Sexual Assaults, Stalking and Intimate Partner Violence." This bill was adopted partly in response to complaints by several University of Connecticut students that their sexual assault complaints were not properly handled by the university.

Boy Awarded $8 Million After Dump Truck Accident

By CHRISTIAN NOLAN |

Thomas McCauley v. Devin Schreyer: A 9-year-old boy who was nearly killed after the vehicle he was riding in was struck head-on by a dump truck was awarded nearly $8 million by a Bridgeport jury recently.

Ex-White House Lawyer Absent from Attempted Murder Trial

By KAREN ALI |

The first two days of the attempted murder trial of former White House lawyer J. Michael Farren has been notable for its dramatic testimony -- and the absence of the defendant.

Transgender Youth Held In State Prison Under Rare Law

By Karen Ali |

As a 16-year-old transgender youth remains languishing in solitary confinement at an adult prison, legal questions have been raised about a rarely-used law that has allowed her to be held without being convicted of a criminal offense.

Editorial: Sergeant Bergdahl's Case: A Teachable Moment

The case of Army Sgt. Bowe R. Bergdahl deserves the attention it's getting, but it's important that some basics be kept in mind as the national discussion crests. First, regardless of what you think he may have done, Bergdahl is entitled to be presumed innocent.

Karem Friedman and Genea Bell

Cooperation Grows Among Affinity Bar Associations

By JAY STAPLETON |

With new slates of officers recently elected at the state's two largest affinity bar organizations, there is an increased focus on working together to increase diversity within the legal community.

Court Says Trust Funds Factor In Medicaid Eligibility

By The Associated Press |

Connecticut officials can reject Medicaid coverage for nursing home patients if their spouses have trusts funds, no matter if those funds predated the marriage and were never intended to benefit the patients, the state Supreme Court ruled.

Employment Law: Wage And Hour Enforcement On The Rise

By ROBERT G. BRODY and ALEXANDER FRIEDMAN |

As the economy continues to struggle, and the job market remains lukewarm, local, state and federal governments and government agencies continue to press for stricter wage and hour laws and increased enforcement. Connecticut, in particular, has recently been a trendsetter in this area. The following are the major trends of which employers should be aware.

Wiggin and Dana's litigation team.

Litigation Department Of The Year: Wiggin and Dana's White-Collar Group Features Former Prosecutors, Regulators

By AMARIS ELLIOTT-ENGEL |

When big companies face big problems, they usually hire giant law firms with deep benches of lawyers. But one more modest-sized Connecticut firm is often hired to enter the ring against government prosecutors and regulators.

Employment Law Boutique Firm Makes Strategic Move To Fairfield County

By JAY STAPLETON |

Labor and employment boutique Mitchell & Sheahan has opened new office in Stamford to expand into the booming portion of the state that is home to many corporate offices and New York City commuters.

Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Police Discretion

By CHRISTIAN NOLAN |

The state Supreme Court last week tossed a lawsuit against Hartford police for not preventing a murder at a residence where officers had been called for a domestic dispute just hours before.

CDLA Meeting Features Seminar On 'Reptile Theory'

The Connecticut Defense Lawyers Association will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, June 5, at the Mohegan Sun casino in Montville.

Law Firm Break-Up Leads To Lawsuit Over Client Files

By KAREN ALI |

Timonthy Moynanhan and Martin Minella practiced law together for three decades years in Waterbury, forming a formidable practice known for its work in criminal defense as well as other practice areas.

State Announces $81 Million Court Facility

By KAREN ALI |

The state is planning to build an $81 million courthouse in Torrington, a step that will replace Superior Court buildings in Litchfield and Bantam and consolidate court operations in the Litchfield Judicial District.

Employment Law: Employee Commuting Time Not Compensable

By DAVID R. GOLDER and ASHLEY TOTORICA |

Rejecting a plumbing foreman's claim that he was entitled to compensation for his time spent commuting to and from work, which was alleged to be two hours each day, the Connecticut Supreme Court has declined to accord deference to the Connecticut Department of Labor's interpretation of travel time, which is less favorable to employers. Sarrazin v. Coastal, 311 Conn. 581 (2014).

Excessive-Force Case Settles For Nearly $200,000

By CHRISTIAN NOLAN |

The video went viral with nearly 171,000 views on YouTube. It shows three Bridgeport police officers kicking a defenseless suspect that they just apprehended. In the aftermath, the officers were placed on paid leave and the beating victim, Orlando Lopez-Soto, filed an excessive-force lawsuit in federal court.

Shortage Of Lethal Injection Drugs Could Extend Conn. Death Row Appeals

By Associated Press |

Connecticut has 11 inmates on death row yet no access to the lethal injection drugs the state would use to perform those executions, a problem lawyers say could add years to litigation over those sentences.

Employment Law NLRB Continues Focus on Employee Handbooks

By JASON STANEVICH |

The National Labor Relations Board continues its focus on the legality of common employee handbook provisions and work rules. As outlined in the selected case summaries below, employers – whether unionized or not – must remain cognizant of the board's heightened scrutiny of policies that govern employee behavior inside and outside of the workplace.

Garvin Ambrose

State Victim Advocate Quits After 16 Months On Job

By KAREN ALI |

Connecticut State Victim Advocate Garvin Ambrose has announced his resignation from the post, less than 16 months after being appointed to the job. According to a news release distributed by the office of Gov. Dannel Malloy, Ambrose intends on relocating to his hometown of Chicago to accept a new professional opportunity.

Editorial: Looking At A Juror's Facebook Page? Be Careful

The explosion of social media outlets forces trial lawyers to ask themselves: How far can we go in conducting online research about jurors, their families and friends? Before the advent of the electronic neighborhood, Connecticut lawyers would shy away from intrusive research into the personal lives of jurors.

Kenneth Caisse

Pro Bono Honors: Kenneth Caisse Offers Sympathy And Service To Self-Represented Parties

By KAREN ALI |

Kenneth Caisse sees his role as leveling the playing field. Often, he says, he steps into divorce cases where one spouse is represented by a lawyer—or an entire legal team—and another spouse cannot afford legal representation.

Pro Bono Honors: Tracie Molinaro Makes Sure Abused Children Are Represented In Court

By KAREN ALI |

Tracie Molinaro gives children a voice in court, even when they cannot be present. And, sometimes, after they have died. Molinaro, of St. Onge & Brouillard in Woodstock, handles a wide range of pro bono cases, including work as a guardian ad litem representing children who have been victims of sex abuse in criminal cases.

Napping Yankees Fan Sues ESPN

By Associated Press |

A New York Yankees fan has filed a $10 million lawsuit against Bristol-based ESPN and two ESPN announcers, contending that the announcers mocked him when he was caught on national television sleeping in his seat during a game at Yankee Stadium.

$100,000-Plus Pensions For Older Judges Under Attack

By JAY STAPLETON |

As it stands, any lawyer who is nominated for a state judgeship and serves on the bench for even the briefest period is eligible for a pension equal to two-thirds of his or her judicial salary. A Superior Court judge currently makes $154,559 annually, meaning a pension would pay about $103,000 a year, plus benefits.

Lawmakers Consider Granting Immunity To Those Who Administer Narcan

By CHRISTIAN NOLAN |

The Connecticut Legislature is making an effort to prevent heroin-related overdoses. One side effect may include reducing the potential civil liability of those who might provide lifesaving medication to drug users.

Connecticut Man Sentenced To Death

A Connecticut man has been sentenced to death for gunning down two adults and a 9-year-old girl in Bridgeport in 2006. A state judge in Bridgeport ruled Thursday that 49-year-old former Trumbull resident Richard Roszkowski (roz-KOW'-ski) should die by lethal injection. A jury in March recommended death instead of life in prison.

Editorial: Guantanamo Case Raises Questions About Inmate Hunger Strikes

One of the many things that people were concerned about as the detentions and military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, started to unfold was that they might spawn some really bad caselaw.